A firebombing plane takes off from Evans Head aerodrome.
A firebombing plane takes off from Evans Head aerodrome. Richard Gates

RAAF bombs may have caused fire at Evans Head

BOMBING practice by the RAAF at a range near Evans Head may have caused a fire that forced the evacuation of 30 campers yesterday.

Firefighters said the fire, south of the bombing range, began early yesterday afternoon and by yesterday evening had burned through 100ha of heathland.

A total of 40 firefighters from the National Parks and Wildlife Service and Rural Fire Service crews across from the Northern Rivers, as well as a task force from the Clarence Valley, were working last
night to contain the blaze burning between the coast and Gap Road.

Rural Fire Service Northern Rivers operations manager, Daniel Ainsworth, said 30 people were evacuated from the Black Rock camping area. There were no injuries and no homes were threatened.

A helicopter from Coffs Harbour and a fixed-wing aircraft from Gunnedah were brought in to water bomb the fire.

Fire crews began back-burning last night when north-easterly winds eased.

The fire was not suspicious and the fire service was still to find its cause, but Mr Ainsworth confirmed RAAF jets had been doing bombing runs over the range yesterday.


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